With Birmingham playing an essential role of innovation and enterprise, the ‘Workshop of the World’ creates 70% of the inventions which are copyrighted in the UK. Enterprising in coding, digital gaming and software technologies. With such a rich heritage it makes sense that Birmingham will be the city for the first deployment of the UK’s 5G testbed. Launching 5G in Birmingham will ensure that some of the brightest innovators are being supported within a community with the best tech infrastructure. With the emerging technologies of connected autonomous vehicles and the maze of sensors supporting the Internet of Things revolution, which powers a smart city will require 5G support.
As the project is looking to receive £75 mill of public investment, this will allow the region to establish its reputation as the home of digitally-powered industries further, and ensure business here starts ahead of global competitors.
Trials will include:
- Using 5G technology to carry out hospital outpatient appointments and emergency appointments remotely by a live video call.
- The West Midlands Combined Authority partnering with Jaguar Land Rover to test driverless cars.
- Connected ambulances, where a 5G video conferencing could be used to connect paramedic crews at incidents, to consultants or other clinical specialists to provide advice. With live streaming patient data from ambulances on the way to the hospital, patients will be able to receive more specialist treatment immediately on arrival.
- Live streaming CCTV footage from public transport buses to enable more immediate action to be taken against anti-social behaviour.
It may be a slightly expensive investment, but the long-term benefits of 5G will make up for this. For SME’s and individual developers won’t need to pay that much as they can use the infrastructure already put in place by big companies and the Government.
The 5G mobile cellular communications system provides a far higher level of performance than the previous generations of mobile systems. 5G has been driven by the need to provide abundant connectivity for applications as varied as automotive communications, remote control with feedback, incredible sized amounts of video downloads and the ability to pick up low data rate applications.
With this soon to be the next integration into our everyday lives, many companies are looking into technologies to become a part of this significant system integration. The handsets are already here, with almost every manufacturer launching a version of their top-end phones with 5G capability.
Phone Generation Timeline
1G – First mobile or cellular phones to be used, which were analogue.
2G – Digital technology which offered text messages and low data rate communications.
3G – Technology that would provide high-speed data that allowed up to 14 Mbps.
4G – Which would be an all-IP based technology capable of delivering data rates up to 1 Gbps.
What 5G needs to offer
For 5th generational technology to be worthwhile, there must be significant gains over previous models to provide an adequate business case for mobile operators to be encouraged to invest in the new system.
For 5G technology to be able to achieve this, new methods of connecting will be required as one of the main drawbacks with previous generations is lack of coverage, dropped calls and low performance at cell edges will all need to be addressed for this new generation to thrive.
One of the major talking points of 5G capability is the download speeds of around 1GBps; this would then mean that users could download a full-length HD quality film in a matter of seconds.
Latency is, in the result of the network and how quickly it can get a response from the internet. Lower latency means users will experience less delay/lag when requesting data from the network – a latency of milliseconds, which are unnoticeable to a human. This will help transform the mobile multiplayer gaming world, healthcare, industrial and automotive applications.
5G should link in with existing networks to ensure users never lose connection, with the older networks acting as a back-up in areas not covered by the new 5G coverage. In essence, the next generation should remove the adage that leaving your house and Wi-fi results in lower speeds, loss of connection and a slower experience, as it all can be a thing of the past!